Thursday, September 17, 2009

Why we have cellars

I’ve said this several times before in several places on the intertubes, but it bears repeating. The reason to have a wine cellar is not to have a Collection. Sure, there are a few bottles that I have that folks would consider trophies, but all of my wine was bought with the intention of drinking. The real reason to keep a cellar is to drink little wines, or at least not Important wines when they’re aged properly. The other night, the we’re-not-married-but-we’re-more-than-friends and I went to dinner at Vin Rouge. As it turns out, Matt had whole cow rib with the bone in from which he cut an enormous Cote-du-Bouef. Wow.

1991 Laurel Glen Sonoma Mountain Estate cabernet sauvignon
The color has started to take on some bricking and the nose has settled into some nice tertiary aromas. It is in a fairly quiet place now, no more angry youth or awkward adolescence. Desiccated fruit, vegetation, everything. There is something about Patrick Campbell’s cabernet that has a distinctly gravelly quality to me. Something I think of as Graves-ish, in a way but something all its own. This wine is very good and a comforting partner to food and conversation. Without the weight of Greatness on its shoulders, it can just be. There is something refreshing about that which I instinctively gravitate towards. I’m not sure what anyone would gain by aging this longer except if you wanted to see where it goes when really old.


Florida Jim said...

Nicely said.
'Got some '96 with me that I'll get into shortly. No cow though; maybe some sausages.
Best, Jim

Iuli said...

I really feel that way about old mondavi cabernet. It's balanced, unpretentious and delicious.

I can't tell you how many times the supposedly weak '79 has made me smile from ear to ear. It's my all time favorite wine to blind fellow wine geeks on.

I had my first experience with this wine in 1999 when i opened 36 bottles of it for a large group. Every single bottle was pristine. How many other cali cabs can claim that sort of consistency?

Alas, those days are over. Still love laurel glen though. ..

Florida Jim said...

1979 (not the more heralded 1978 vintage) made some great wines. A regular Shafer, Napa, was one of the best domestic cabs. for me.
Sometimes those off-vintages are a real treat - which brings us back to what VLM was saying.
Best, Jim

Iuli said...

Florida Jim,

We are in agreement